While movie theaters are closed nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic, many of the studios have made some of their planned summer releases available to stream or rent and buy via digital and on-demand services. Universal Pictures opened the floodgates by completely skipping a theatrical release for the big-budget DreamWorks movie Trolls World Tour. The studio also released The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma early for home viewing after their theatrical runs were cut short. Disney followed in Universal's footsteps by releasing Onward early on Disney+.
Most of the biggest studio releases have been delayed. For example, Warner Bros. is not going to miss a chance at Wonder Woman 1984 making $1 billion worldwide, and delayed the movie to Aug. 14. Disney was also not going to let its spring and summer blockbusters hit home video early, so Mulan was pushed to July 24 and Black Widow was delayed all the way to Nov. 6. Paramount's Top Gun: Maverick has the chance to be one of the studio's biggest hits in years, so it was delayed until Dec. 23.
All these delays would leave anyone worrying about finding new entertainment. Sure, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and dozens of other streaming services have boatloads of movies you likely still have not seen, but there's something cool about checking out a new and shiny movie. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the newest movies available to stream, rent or buy today and in the coming weeks.
The King of Staten Island
Universal is hoping the success of Trolls World Tour translates to an R-rated film. The King of Staten Island, directed by Judd Apatow and starring Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson, will be available on demand services on June 12. The film is inspired by Davidson's real life and centers on a Staten Island tattoo artist living still grieving from his firefighter father's death. In real life, Davidson's father was a firefighter who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Marisa Tomei co-stars as Davidson's mother.
Universal Studios Movies - Emma, The Photograph, The Hunt, Trolls World Tour and The Invisible Man
Shortly before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the movie industry, Universal and its subsidiary labels released the films Emma, The Photograph, The Hunt and The Invisible Man in theaters. Universal opted to make these available at on demand services like Amazon, Apple, Fandango Now, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube earlier than planned. Trolls World Tour skilled theatrical release completely, and is now available on the same platforms.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
NEON, the same studio that distributed Parasite, has made many of its films available on Hulu. You can also find Celine Sciamma's mind-blowing period drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire there. The French-language film stars Noemie Merlant as a painter assigned to create a portrait of Heloise, played by Adele Haenel, and ends up striking up a forbidden romance with her. (Speaking of Parasite, it is also available on Hulu now.)
Disney+ Movies - Frozen II, Onward, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Artemis Fowl
Disney sped up its Disney+ plans for Frozen II, Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Pixar's Onward to make them all available on the streaming platform sooner so families can enjoy them together. These movies are also available at on demand services, in case you do not have a Disney+ subscription. Disney is also releasing its film adaptation of Artemis Fowl straight to Disney+ on June 12, skipping theaters completely.
The Lovebirds was among the first movies delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and trailers for it were already in theaters when it was postponed. The film stars Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae on a date that goes so horribly wrong they end up entangled in a murder mystery. Rather than make it available on demand, Paramount struck a deal to release it on Netflix on May 22. So you won't have to spend extra to check it out.
The Scooby Doo animated movie Scoob! was set to hit theaters on May 15. Instead, Warner Bros. has chosen to release the highly anticipated comedy through on demand platforms, just as Universal did for Trolls World Tour. The film features an all-star voice cast, including Will Forte as Shaggy, Gina Rodriguez as Velma, Zac Efron as Fred and Amanda Seyfried as Daphne.
Warner Bros. Movies - Birds of Prey, The Way Back and Just Mercy
Warner Bros. has already released several films through on demand services that would have otherwise taken months to be available. The fact-based legal drama Just Mercy with Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx is now available, as is Ben Affleck's sports drama The Way Back. The DC Comics movie Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which was famously re-titled to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, is also available to rent or buy.
Other movies you can rent or buy include the following:
- The Assistant, starring Julia Garner (Ozarks) as an assistant to a Harvey Weinstein-like movie producer
- Blootshot, starring Vin Diesel as a killed solider with new powers
- The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford and a CGI dog in a new adaptation of Jack London's novel
- Downhill, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as a couple re-evaluating their lives after an avalanche
- Endings, Beginnings, with Shailene Woodley as a woman who becomes romantically involved with her best friends, played by Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan
- Fantasy Island, a horror remake on the 1970s TV series, starring Michael Pena and Lucy Hale
- Gretel & Hansel, a horror retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale
- I Still Believe, starring KJ Apa as a Christian singer-songwriter and Britt Robertson as his fiance
- Never Barely Sometimes Always, a Sundance hit about teenage girls dealing with an unintended pregnancy
- The Rhythm Section, starring Blake Lively as a woman seeking revenge for her family's deaths
- Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the hit video games
- True Story of the Kelly Gang, an Australian Western about Ned Kelly, played by George MacKay
- Underwater, a sci-fi horror movie with Kristen Stewart, set at the bottom of the ocean